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94-year-old woman from Honduras killed during home invasion while visiting Cleveland family

September 17, 2018

94-year-old woman from Honduras killed during home invasion while visiting Cleveland family

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A 94-year-old woman beaten to death during a home invasion in the city’s Slavic Village neighborhood was in town from Honduras visiting her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a family member said.

Eucebia Garcia died from blunt force trauma to the head during early Monday, police said.

Her 74-year-old daughter, Marina Garcia, is in and out of consciousness at MetroHealth’s intensive care unit, Marina Garcia’s son-in-law, Chris Cinolotac said. She suffered a concussion and has bleeding on her brain, Cinolotac said.

“We’re just upset at everything right now,” Cinolotac said. “They didn’t deserve this. Whoever did this went to far. They didn’t need to do this.”

Cinolotac lives with his wife next door to the home where the beating death happened. His family is in shock. He said the killer stole an iPad, iPhone and jewelry.

He said Eucebia and Marina Garcia visit their family in Cleveland every year, typically for about six months, in order to spend time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were set to return to Honduras in two weeks.

Cinolotac said the family is devastated, particularly because the two women live in Honduras, where rampant violence has become the norm.

“Honduras is known for its violence,” Cinolotac said. “Then they come here and this happens. It’s not fair.”

Eucebia Garcia raised her children in Honduras on the money she and her late husband made by running a general store. She closed the store when her husband died. Her daughter lives with her in Honduras and looks after her, despite being only able to see out of one eye, Cinolotac said.

Both particularly loved taking road trips and were healthy and active.

Cinolotac owns three houses in a row on Gertrude Avenue in Slavic Village. He lives in one, allowed his mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law to live in the other and is fixing up the third house.

While she lived in the Gertrude house this summer, Eucebia Garcia planted flowers in the yard and spruced up the porch with even more flowers, Cinolotac said.

He said he usually works on the homes until 2 a.m. He went to sleep early Sunday night, and Marina Garcia woke him after she made her way to his house after the beating.

A burglar about 1:30 a.m. Monday removed a window air-conditioning unit and climbed into the home, according to police and Cinolotac.

Once inside, the burglar “confronted” the two women and beat them, causing severe head injuries, according to police. The man ran away and police have not yet identified the attacker.

Eucebia Garcia was taken to MetroHealth, where she died.

Cinolotac said he attends community meetings and has expressed his desire for more police officers to patrol the area. He said the officers who do are dedicated, but they need more. 

He said drug deals and prostitution are daily occurrences in the neighborhood. Several abandoned homes on his street bring even more crime to the area, he said.

“We’ve found people shooting up in an abandoned house across the street,” he said. “We had one man, who was clearly high on drugs run in to the house (where the fatal beating happened) because he was running from a drug dealer.”

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